And now it’s go time

Welp. There’s a job offer on the table.

There are still issues to be discussed– salary, most importantly– but there’s an offer on the table. I went over to the school Monday and had an in-person interview and looked around the building and saw the classroom and everything. My interview was very honest– I told the principal that I was a giant flaming liberal with a BLM flag and a Pride flag in his classroom and asked if she thought that was going to be a problem (although, for the record, I don’t plan on hanging either flag in the new room, at least not the first year) and I also made it clear that if I got an offer I was going to ask for 24 hours to think about it and then I was going to have probably the hardest night of my life while I thought about it. I also said that if I decided to stay that it was going to just be through the end of the year, and that there was no way I was returning to my district this fall– and that shit is one hundred percent the fucking truth. I know I’ve said that before but this is it. I’m done with this district, either in the next few weeks or at the end of the year, but there will be no 2023-24 school year with these people, period.

Right now I’m leaning toward not going, because I’m an idiot. But the number after the dollar sign will have an effect on that.

I think I’m actually going to ask to wait until Monday to make the decision, too, because … well, it’s 7:30 on Wednesday night and I just got the email, so I’ll call them back tomorrow, and 24 hours would give me until Friday, and … well, it’s Friday. They don’t need to know on Friday. They can wait until Monday.

Expect me to talk about nothing but this for the next few days.

In which I don’t know what to do

As someone who cannot Art, this AI-art-generation phenomenon is completely fascinating to me; this is what the Wonder app came up with when I selected “Oil painting” and “very difficult decisions” as the prompt. Sometimes you get duds but I enjoy this one quite a bit.

Anyway, we lost two more teachers last week. Between the seventh and the eighth grade right now we have about six teachers. There are signs that downtown is starting to take our issues seriously but this game of chicken that everyone is playing is driving me slowly insane, and I just don’t know what to do if we, say, lose another language arts teacher, or if we end up down to one math teacher for the entire building, or whatever other bullshit might happen. I kind of think the folks who are likely to quit are mostly gone by now, but there are a couple that I’ve got an eye on.

And, well, I’ve got an interview on Tuesday and could potentially have a second soon too. And fuck me stupid if I didn’t get two good days in a row on Thursday and Friday and now I’m all oh, I can’t abandon these kids, wash wash blah blah blah. I fucking hate that I can’t make what is obviously the correct career decision, a decision I would have already made were I anything other than a teacher, and flee. And yet I had the whole weekend to finish the application for this other district and I haven’t done it yet. Because apparently I am a fucking moron. It’s not even goddamned October yet. This can still get so much fucking worse.

Well, this post ended up a little angrier than I thought it was going to be. Originally I was very much planning on Oh, I don’t know what to do and now I think I know what I’m going to do and I also know what I should do and I’m pretty sure those are two different things and I am making a stupid career decision again, and I am deeply, seriously, intensely angry with myself about it.

Meanwhile, this is my schedule tomorrow: Dentist appointment at 8:00 in the morning. Following that, go to school and do not teach first and second hour because my student observer is doing one of her mandatory lessons tomorrow. Then leave the building to go back to the doctor because, remember, I was injured breaking up a fight last week, spend however long that takes, then return to the building probably just in time for my prep periods and nothing else, because if I go home I have to take a half day and if I come back I basically don’t have to count the absence for anything since worker’s comp covers it. Remember that this building where I was just injured during a fight is the building that I feel like I can’t leave because waaah bjaaah the chiiiillllldrennnnn.

Fuck.

Free day off!

I was supposed to have jury duty today, and as of last night it hadn’t cancelled, so I was hoping that this would actually be the time that I get to serve on a jury– and yes, I mean get to, because I’ve never done it before and I wouldn’t mind the experience. I got the notification that my service was cancelled as I was getting into the car to head to the courtroom– which, on one hand, yay, because I’d already gotten the day off and it wasn’t like I was going back in, and on the other hand boo, because I’d gotten the day off so I could go do my Civic Duty as an American and that clearly wasn’t happening.

It’s not like there’s any chance I’m ever going to be allowed on a jury in the first place, unless the prosecutor isn’t paying attention and just assumes that since I’m a fat bald white guy with a beard I’m going to assume that whoever they put in front of me is guilty. I was kinda looking forward to declaring that all cops were bastards in my jury questionnaire. Alas, ’tis not to be, at least not this time.

So I came back inside and started job-hunting. Someone asked yesterday what sorts of jobs I was looking for. There’s a spreadsheet, because of course there is:

The blacked-out one is my kid’s school; they don’t actually have any openings right now but I sent in an application anyway just in case somebody resigns anytime soon. I’m not holding my breath over that one, but it’s pretty much the only way I’m in a classroom next year, since it’s a private school, which I’m pretty sure means that HB 1134 can’t touch it. If I find out otherwise I will probably mark them off the list. Nearly all of the rest of them are remote.

The interesting thing: I’ve been complaining about the quality of the jobs that the various search sites have been returning, but it turns out that once you start telling them what you’re applying for they start figuring out how to dial you in. I’m still getting the occasional blip where I search for education-related jobs in my area that pay $65K or more and get something in Fiji that pays $2 an hour to masturbate musk oxen, but … well, it’s getting better.

Anybody have any contacts at Edmentum, by any chance?

Blech, pt. 716

I applied for a couple of jobs yesterday. I don’t know how I feel about it, really, and I’m not expecting much to come from it, necessarily, but I did it. I remain convinced that if I’m still teaching next year, I want to be teaching at the same school, but Indiana’s legislature appears to have decided that they don’t want me in their classrooms. There are a Black Lives Matter and a gay pride flag hanging in my room. Part of me is very much in “If the governor wants them, he can come and get them himself” mode, and part of me is so sick of how America treats teachers that I no longer want anything to do with the entire enterprise. When I quit in 2016 it was because I got sick and my doctor more or less told me I had to. This time? I’m defeated. I can’t do this anymore; America wants to be a society where only the wealthy get any education and everyone else gets a babysitter, and I refuse to be a babysitter.

God, I don’t even remember if I talked about this, so forgive me if I’m repeating things, but I sent an email out to my parents on Sunday letting them know that forty-six of my seventy-one kids were failing math. I take this shit personally, as I deliberately set up everything about my class to make it virtually impossible to fail if you actually try.

I emailed maybe 50 of my parents; the rest I don’t have email addresses for despite the fact that it’s 20fucking22 and I know good and fucking well they all have email. I heard back from one. The rest either never saw the message because they gave their kid’s school an email address they never look at or they looked at it and shrugged. Fuck it. You want your kids warehoused too, apparently. I don’t know how much longer I can do this even under the best of circumstances, and … man, I’m done with all the rest of it.

On shitty advice

I’ve seen this video, or at least heard the audio clip, on TikTok several times, generally over a video of someone making something with their hands. I would talk about it there, except the way the site works there’s no good way to respond to a full minute of audio. I can talk over him and have the full minute, or I can clip out five seconds and then have 55 seconds of my own afterward, but neither really works, so … off to blogging!

Go ahead and watch the video; it’s only a minute long.

Look, I get enough of people not watching videos that are critical to understanding the next thing they’re going to do from my students. You haven’t watched the video yet. Watch the video.

Fine, figure it out.

This is terrible advice and this man is dumb.

Now, I don’t know when he said this, but the fact that he put it on his TikTok account implies that it was pretty recent. Which is odd, because the world that this might have worked in went away, like, decades ago. First of all, I love the implication that everybody can afford to take 90 days to work for free. So you’re either living at home and don’t have any bills or you already have enough money saved up that three months of rent, all expenses, potentially your student loans coming due (be real, he’s not envisioning someone who has student loans) and, oh, right, health insurance, which nobody gives to people who are working for them for free. Anybody who can afford to do that already has plenty of connections, and frankly if they’re planning on entering the business world their best contacts are almost certainly their parents. And entering the business world is the only possibility this person is really picturing; if the person who is “living your ideal life” is anything but the owner of a business this whole idea falls apart– you can’t approach, say, an author, or a comedian, or a school principal with a deal like this. The other possibility is some sort of apprenticeship model for a craftsperson, but guess what– we already have that sort of thing, and “connections” aren’t really all that useful if what you want to do with your life is build cabinets or chairs or something like that.

The other fun thing is his theory about how this process ends. After you have spent ninety days working harder than anyone this business owner has ever met, for free, you approach him and tell him (it is also certainly a him in this dude’s scenario) that you would now like to work for money. If you are told no, you shake hands and part ways (… and then what?) and if you are told yes, you have entered the odd question mark in this Underpants Gnome scheme for profit.

What if dude looks at you and says “I’m not sure, work for me for another 90 days for free and then I’ll decide?”

What if the wage he offers you is insulting? (Side point, but I will never as long as I live forget seeing a job listing offering $15 an hour and demanding a Master’s degree.)

Has this guy not realized that unpaid internships are already a thing, that they’re basically used as free slave labor by the businesses that sponsor them, that they have basically the exact same economic problems that I’ve already outlined above, and there’s an endless supply of them for anyone who wants to employ them? There is no fucking shortage of trust-fund shitheads who are willing to work for “free” (ie, everything paid for by their parents) and bring coffee to people for a semester in hopes that someone remembers their name when they hit the job market. There will never not be college juniors, dude.

I am sorely tempted to look more closely into this person giving this speech on a stage with a wireless microphone in his ear, to find out how his parents got their money.